Empirical Legal Research in Europe: Prevalence, Obstacles, and Interventions

15 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2019

See all articles by Gijs van Dijck

Gijs van Dijck

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law

Shahar Sverdlov

Maastricht University, Student

Gabriela Buck

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law, Students

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 17, 2018

Abstract

Empirical Legal research (ELR) has become well established in the United States, whereas its popularity in Europe is debatable. This article explores the popularity of ELR in Europe. The authors carried out an empirical analysis of 78 European-based law journals, encompassing issues from 2008-2017. The findings demonstrate that a supposed increase of ELR is questionable (at best).
Moreover, additional findings highlight:
– An increase for a few journals, with a small number of other journals showing a decrease over time;
– A higher percentage of empirical articles for extra-legal journals than for legal journals (average proportion per journal is 4.6 percent for legal journals, 18.9 percent for extra-legal journals);
– Criminal justice journals, environmental journals, and economically oriented journals being more likely to publish empirical articles than other journals;
– More prestigious journals being more likely to publish empirical articles than less-prestigious journals;
– Older journals being more likely to publish empirical work than younger journals, but not at an increasing rate;
– Journals being legal/extra-legal, journals in a specific field, journal ranking, or the age of the journal not making it more (or less) likely that the journal will publish empirical articles at an increasing (or decreasing) rate.

Considering the lack of convincing evidence indicating an increase of ELR, we identify reasons for why ELR is seemingly becoming more popular but not resulting in more empirical research in Europe. Additionally, we explore interventions for overcoming the obstacles ELR currently faces.

Suggested Citation

van Dijck, Gijs and Sverdlov, Shahar and Buck, Gabriela, Empirical Legal Research in Europe: Prevalence, Obstacles, and Interventions (December 17, 2018). Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3312269

Gijs Van Dijck (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/gijs.vandijck

Shahar Sverdlov

Maastricht University, Student ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

Gabriela Buck

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

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